Analysis of pesticides and mycotoxins in legal cannabis using flow-based LCMSMS system

Ariovaldo Bisi, EMEA-EMT, PerkinElmer, Milan, Italy (
Alessandro Baldi Talini, Emea-emt, Perkinelmer, Milan, Italy
Francesco Aimone, Emea-emt, Perkinelmer, Milan, Italy

Over half of the U.S. has legalized the use of medical cannabis due to its therapeutic benefits for ailments such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and ALS.1-3 and some EU countries are adopting similar rules legalizing cannabis use for medical and recreative purpose. On top of the control of cannabinoids content in recreative cannabis that must be below a regulated concentration we need to check also contaminants like pesticides and mycotoxins

Like traditional agriculture crops, pesticides are sometimes used in cannabis cultivation to protect plants from pests and improve growth yield. Chronic exposure to pesticides can pose serious health risks; therefore, pesticide analysis in cannabis is an important consumer safety topic and LCMSMS is the most suitable technique for this purpose; extracts of cannabis are oily and needs either extensive, time and money consuming cleanup or a rugged MSMS analyzer that is not prone to contamination.

In this lecture we’ll discuss an analytical workflow with simple extraction steps and LCMSMS analysis of a wide panel of pesticides and mycotoxins; all the data have been validated and shows sensitivity, linearity and recovery far better than legal requirements. 

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